Tag Archives: photo prompt

Sweet Annihilation

gingerbreadvillage

Our ancestors were four escapees from a jellybaby factory who persuaded a kindly eagle to carry them high into a distant mountain where they might live in safety. These industious jellybabies immediately set to the task of sourcing ingredients for gingerbread, and built two little gingerbread houses. Jellybaby nature being what it is, by and by baby jellybabies emerged. The settlement was extended to make room for a growing community. It became a thriving village. We jellybabies are sweet, gentle folk. We don’t eat sentient beings, instead relying on gingerbread alone for our sustenance.

The few quarrels that ensued between villagers were generally caused by a naughty jelly-tot taking sneaky bites out of a neighbours picket fence, or a gaggle of jelly-teens dismantling a gingerbread shed in food-fight frenzy.

Aside from that, life was ideal as long as we stayed out of the sun, which tended to make us sticky. That was why the hospital was built. All too often, two jellybabies would adhere to each other and have to be surgically separated. Imagine the embarassment of an amorous couple, the humiliation of struggling – in flagrante – to reach the jellyphone and call up emergency services, the shame of being transported on a stretcher all along the street the the hospital – jelly-neighbours politely averting their gaze or pointing and whispering, jelly-tots sniggering and asking awkward questions.

As you can imagine, during surgery, it was the jellymen who came off worst.

And there was that time when all the grown-ups had a massive party, drank a little too much gingerbread wine and went outside in the heat of a July day to join hands in a circle and do the hokey-cokey.  We kids had fun feeling our feet while our parents were getting their hands freed by the doctor, who had fortunately not attended the party.

No community is perfect, but ours was as close as it comes. We were peace-loving. We trod lightly on the land.

We were happy until the humans beat their way to our door.

Huge fingers grab me, squeezing my waist, winding me. two giant eyes glint, with no trace of hatred, only gleeful anticipation. Acquisition. Satisfaction.

A voice thunders in conversational tone, “Head first. Always.”

Giant teeth bear down on me. Spittle from overblown saliva glands rain from the glistening mouth, drenching me. 

“Please don’t, I’m a…” I squeal.

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Written for The Haunted Wordsmith’s Daily Writing Challenge.

©Jane Paterson Basil

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Liquid Gems

boys-1149665_640

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That summer

heat clung like sleeping rage,

insinuating unseen rays

beneath burnt-umber skin,

squeezing out beads of perspiration,

pressing lethargy in.

We erected a shelter,

stealing timber from a derelict ruin

where ghostly bones

hid from the searing day, waiting

to be awakened by a grinning moon.

Lumbering

against the dumbing weight

of a dug-in sun, we lugged

a flaking door, broken

shelving, dented sections

of rusty tin roof

until our limbs begged rest.

Stumbling

to the brisk welcome of the stream,

ripping off shoes and socks,

stripping to vests,

we leaped, shattering the whittling ripples,

our screams declaring the thrill of the chill

as we splashed wet gemdrops

across the silver realm.

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Written for the new daily photo prompt from The Haunted Wordsmith: Worth a Thousand Words, 31st July 2018  Check it out and join in!

©Jane Paterson Basil

Devastation

Michelle #103

A furyed lake of rain recedes,
surrendering domestic secrets and children’s treats
smashed and sullied by nature’s ruination.

The silvery stars,
too far away to see the devastation,
are innocent of blame
for their untimely celebration.

Fair-weather trees in mock jubilation
display a tactless splash of freeze-framed fireworks
proclaiming sham victory
as if sarcastic imagery is a witty way
to cover up the tragedy.

Shattered lives are revealed by eyes
reflecting desolation,
as friends and strangers nobly rise
to aid the restoration.

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Written for:

 Michelle’s Photo-Fiction 103 – with a bit of poetic licence; the above image doesn’t display a hurricane’s devastation, but I feel it’s appropriate,

and  The Daily Post’s Word Prompt: Witty

©Jane Paterson Basil

The ferris wheel

 

ferris-wheel

They say that some nights, if you stand downwind, you can hear the screams of those children who never went home from the fair.

It happened way back in the ‘forties. The first time, it seemed like a tragic mishap; the second, a terrible coincidence.

All the same, word got around, and kids were too frightened to ride on that ferris wheel. The proprietor swore that all the bolts were tightened, but people were still scared. Teenagers woud dare each other to try it, and the bravest of them paid their money and climbed on board, alighting safely at the end of the ride.

After a while confidence picked up, and a couple of ten-year olds went on it. The car broke away and crashed to the ground, like the other times. One boy was killed instantly; the other died later from his injuries, bringing the number of fatalities to eight.

A journalist had been following the story, digging up dirt. Turned out the ferris wheel guy had lost a son. This lad had foolishly climbed the big wheel, to the top. He lost his footing and fell, breaking his neck.

The journalist reckoned the father was reeking his vengence on innocent children. He alerted the police. An enquiry began. The day the police went to the fair to arrest the man, he scaled the wheel, and leapt to his death.

They say that some nights, if you creep closer to the sound of screaming children, and look up at that rusting car, right at the top, you may see a misty man sitting in it, hugging a wispy young boy close, expressions of love and joy written across both of their faces.

Written for Michelle’s Photo fiction #59

©Jane Paterson Basil